by Andy Marmer | March 4th, 2013
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the New York Badassilisks had received a World Cup bid. The IQA editorial team regrets the error.
And with this weekend’s action in the books, the final six Division I spots for the World Cup have been decided. No. 10 University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL), No. 84 Tennessee Tech University (Cookeville, TN), No. 116 University of Florida (Gainesville, FL), No. 105 University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg, MS), No. 118 Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL), and No. 29 University of South Florida (Tampa, FL) have all earned trips to sunny Kissimmee for the World Cup.
Recap: In dominant fashion, the University of Miami – long thought to be the class of the South – captured the Southern Regional Championship. In pool play, Miami outscored their opponents 810-70, allowing just four goals and one snitch catch across their five pool games. To continue talking about Miami’s performance can’t do justice to just how controlling that squad was. After this weekend, it’s clear that no team in their region is on the same level.
Outside of Miami’s transcendence, nothing went as expected in the Southern Regional Championship. Despite a 120*-0 loss in the championship game, Tennessee Tech should be proud of their performance this weekend. A relatively new squad, founded in the spring of 2012, this group took out defending runner-up Florida in the semifinals 110*-50. One can note that Florida was competing in the World Cup before Tennessee Tech’s team even existed. The rapid ascension of Tennessee Tech is very impressive.
To reach the semifinals, Tennessee Tech knocked off a Florida State squad that they lost to just three weeks ago, 50*-10 at the Rocky Top Rumble. Tennessee Tech entered bracket play as the third seed from their group, after losses to Florida and South Florida in pool play 110*-60 and 60*-30, keeping both games within snitch range.
Tennessee Tech’s upsets of both Florida State and Florida were not the only ones during bracket play. In the quarterfinals, Southern Mississippi, after a 3-2 performance in their group, knocked off South Florida, a team with a record that was previously 5-1, in a game that ended 60*-30. While Southern Mississippi is certainly a strong team in the South, having cut their teeth against the best of the Southwest, South Florida was predicted by many to face Miami in the title game. For them to bow out in quarterfinals is unquestionably a disappointment, in addition to their pool play loss to Florida.
Ringling College of Art and Design (Sarasota, FL) was thought to have a good shot at the World Cup, but after a 2-4 performance in pool play, they failed to advance to the brackets and missed out on a chance to play in their third straight World Cup.
Rising: Miami (they won as expected, but I don’t think it’s even possible to predict this level of dominance), Tennessee Tech, Southern Mississippi
Falling: South Florida, Florida State, Florida, Ringling
Shell Shocking Spectacular
Recap: 19 teams, including three mercenary squads, from the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast travelled to College Park, MD for the annual Shell Shocking Spectacular hosted by No. 2 University of Maryland (College Park, MD). While the hosts stumbled once in pool play, they nonetheless took the title over No. 16 Hofstra University (Hempstead, NY) 70*-40 in a rematch of last year’s title match with an off-pitch snitch grab.
Maryland earned the fifth seed entering bracket play after being defeated once in their pool by a mercenary team in an unofficial game. Despite the low seed, Maryland beat World Cup qualifiers No. 44 University of Richmond (Richmond, VA), and No. 27 Q.C. Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA) to reach the finals. Maryland’s matchup with Hofstra was a rematch of a contest from last week’s Empire Classic, hosted by the latter team, a matchup Maryland also won.
Hofstra reached the finals with bracket play victories over a pair of World Cup qualifiers: 11th-seeded, No. 30 Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD), who pulled two upsets of their own to reach the semifinals, and No. 57 Macaulay Honors College (New York, NY), a rematch from last week’s tournament as well in bracket play. Additionally, Hofstra went undefeated in pool play, besting World Cup-qualifiers Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA), as well as University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA) in overtime.
Pittsburgh entered bracket play as the top seed, going 4-0 in pool play, before bowing out in the semifinals, after a win over a mercenary team in the quarterfinals, to Maryland, 150*-30.
Rising: Richmond (fourth place is an impressive showing), Johns Hopkins (semifinals), Maryland (stumbled once in an unofficial game), Hofstra (undefeated except for a 30-point loss to Maryland), Virginia (sixth seed over a number of World Cup qualifiers)